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From Orlando, Florida, USA:

I've had type 1 diabetes for four years. I have a younger sister who is nine; I was ten and a half when I was diagnosed and I worry constantly that she'll also get it. I recently heard that extra vitamin D can help with the prevention of type 1 and I wanted to know much it helps.


It's nice to hear that you are worried about and want to look after your little sister.

There has been some promising research on the positive effects of vitamin D on affecting the development of type 1 diabetes, but the jury is still out. We don't know the real interactions and certainly don't know the best dose, frequency, timing, etc. of giving any vitamin D.

There is LOTS of research on what factors contribute or influence the development of type 1 diabetes. Specifically, I suggest the following for you and your sister:

  1. Ask your pediatric endocrinologist and your parents to talk together about getting your sister screened for a free scientific study called TrialNet. There are several study sites available in the state where you live. TrialNet is looking for people without type 1 diabetes, but who have family members who do have type 1 diabetes. If the person without diabetes has certain, very specific high risk factors, then a prevention therapy can be considered.

  2. I would hope, and ask, that you set a good example for your little sister. If you are so worried about her developing diabetes, then the best thing you can do is show, by your own actions, that you follow a meal plan, check your glucoses regularly, dose insulin appropriately, and that you stay active. By so doing, if that day comes and your sister is diagnosed with diabetes, she'll be able to see she has a support person and teammate to help her get through and still get on with life. If your approach to diabetes is that of dread, fear, drudgery, animosity, and denial, your sister will be learning that and that is no way to help her.


[Editor's comment: Recent stories, including Vitamin D Lowers Diabetes Risk, indicated that the prevention of diabetes "may" occur and only in those who were given vitamin D in early infancy.


Original posting 6 Nov 2008
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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